It’s the question I started asking when I first came to Druidry about eighteen years ago. I’m still asking it. My blog (www.druidlife.wordpress.com) is mostly me asking, day by day ‘what does this even mean?’
We don’t know much about the ancient Druids. What we do know mostly comes from either the Romans – who are unreliable at best, or mediaeval manuscripts. There is no doubt that mediaeval writing includes stories and ideas that are truly ancient. Only no one knows which those bits are, and what came later. So we are left with this evocative term that draws people to it, defies explanation, has no definite texts, and yet somehow, still works.
Put me in a room full of Druids and I can guarantee that I will have a lot in common with most of them, and enough that I think about differently to make for some interesting conversations. When Druids talk about modern Druidry, what it tends to come down to is that we know it when we see it. We know what it smells like and how it tastes. We agree a lot of the time about what we consider to be good and proper manifestations of Druidry. But explain it? That’s a whole other kettle of mistletoe.
Of course there are exceptions. There are people who look at other people’s Druidry in bemusement, and in despair. There are always people who think some other group of people are doing it wrong. That’s probably healthy.
Whatever I say Druidry is today, is just how I’m feeling it today. It has no authority and I might change my mind, or prioritise differently at another time. Today I think Druidry is a spiritual response to the experience of being alive. It is the spirituality of place and landscape, standing in relationship to history and ancestry. It is based in reverence for life, and it is underpinned by a philosophical approach to existing. Creating that philosophy is part of each person’s path, and their own work. We can learn from each other, but we have to do the Druidry ourselves. Doing the Druidry is essential, it’s not just about ideas. Living your philosophy is a big part of what makes you a Druid.
Druidry is inspiration and creativity, but not limited to ‘arts’. Druidry is service and love, it is engagement with myth, tradition, folklore and history as a living thing not a dusty museum piece. Druidry is community. It is about bridging the divides between apparently disparate things – nature and civilization, emotion and reason, past and future, science and art, creation and destruction, faith and evidence. One foot on a goat, the other foot on a well, it is to be deliberately a bit precarious in order to make something new possible.
And so there are a lot of Druid scientists out there. We have plenty of Christian Druids, and folk who cross pollinate with other world religions. We have Druid artists, musicians, writers and poets, crafters, activists, healers, politicians, gardeners. We have people who focus on prayer, ritual and honouring the divine, and we have people who focus on planting trees and telling stories about the landscape. There is no one right way to be a Druid, it’s mostly a case of finding out what it is that the Druidry calls you to do.
About Nimue Brown (by Mark)
Nimue describes herself as a Bookblogger, wordherder, tree activist. Green chaos Druid Steampunk folk elf. Metaphorical tug boat. Ponderer, singer of songs, teller of stories. Hill walker, daydreamer, editor, marketing person, occasional press officer on demand, reviewer, Steampunk, Folky, Green activist and as if that wasn’t enough now a film producer/writer/co-director… She also claims to have a lot of hats, one suspects this is a metaphor.
Tom Brown on the other hand describes her as ‘ A Bloody Genius’ and as he knows her better than anyone, who are we to argue…
She is one half of the creative force behind Hopeless Maine, the entire creative force behind the druid life blog, and has a creative out put of fiction and non-fiction that puts the rest of us to shame….
you can find more from Nimue at:
- Druid life
- Hopeless Vendetta
- and follow her on twitter @NimueB
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